Italy's top cosmetics chain KIKO Milano opened its first Israeli store this week in Ramat Gan's Ayalon Mall. Brought to Israel by the Castro-Hoodies group, KIKO Milano offers 1,200 items at low-cost prices ranging from NIS 10 to NIS 160. Lipstick costs NIS 24 in the store, compared with NIS 93 at a more expensive chain, such as MAC Cosmetics.
The store is already open, but no official launch event was held. This did not prevent curious customers from crowding inside early in the morning.
"We thought that KIKO Milano was the Carolina Lemke of beauty - something missing in the market in terms of quality and price," said Lior Asor, the chain's new CEO in Israel. Asor, who worked for three years in various positions in the Hoodies group, has been out of the limelight until now. Most of his activity was under the Carolina Lemke brand, in which he was responsible for opening the brand's stores in Spain, among other things. Since the KIKO Milano store opened, Asor says, "In the past two days, I've been standing at the cash register and working on the sales floor."
In addition to the 70-square meter branch in the Ayalon Mall, in which over NIS 1 million was invested, additional branches are scheduled to open in the Malha mall in Jerusalem and the Ir Yamim mall in Netanya. Asor says that the chain hopes to reach 40 branches within four years.
Concerning future openings, Asum says, "I don't have to be at every mall; we want to avoid cannibalization. Right now, we want to be in the strong malls."
"Globes": What about a return on the investment?
Asur: We believe that we can make back the NIS 1 million investment on each store within 18-24 months."
KIKO Milano's online website in Israel also opened today. The chain's proportion of online sales is 5%, but those familiar with the brand from outside Israel may have a disappointment in store, because some of the most popular products in Europe are not on sale in Israel. "There are many bestsellers in Europe that can't enter Israel because of permits from the Ministry of Health," confirms Asur, but promises, "We'll continue bringing them, and I believe that we'll get a permit for at least some of them. The Israeli standard is different from the European standard, which makes getting permits more complicated and lengthier." <
Does the Estee Lauder Israel group, which operates a chain of independent cosmetics stores for brands such as MAC Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown, have anything to worry about? Ayalon Mall CEO Rina Tal believes that the exposure to more brands of cosmetics increases sales. "They called us from Estee Lauder and told us that their sales jumped 30% on the day that KIKO Milano opened," she says. At the same time, she adds, "The older cosmetics chains operating on the site are liable to close down if they do not make adjustments to the changing consumption market."
The opening of the KIKO Milano store, which has 900 stores worldwide, makes the Castro-Hoodies group a dominant player in the beauty sector, with the new brand joining its current French Yves Rocher brand.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 19, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019